Victoria Tang


An updated checklist of scorpions of China (52 species belonging to 13 genera and six families) is provided, with Chinese name equivalents and an illustrated map of all localities. Colored photos of the Chinese population of Mesobuthus thersites (C. L. Koch, 1839) and one Olivierus sp. in vivo habitus are provided for the first time. The recent taxonomic changes are summarized. The monotypic genus Tibetiomachus (Hormuridae) with its single species T. himalayensis is considered a nomen dubium. The validity of the previously synonymized Scorpiops atomatus Qi et al., 2005 and S. validus (Di et al., 2010) (Scorpiopidae) is questioned, although they are not formally restored from synonymy. Olivierus hainanensis (Birula, 1904) (Buthidae) is possibly a junior synonym of O. martensii (Karsch, 1879); a reanalysis of the syntypes is warranted. The name “Scorpiops jingshanensis Li, 2016” is a nomen nudum. Additional comments are made upon two unavailable names that appear in an unpublished MS thesis (Zhang, 2009; in Chinese): “Mesobuthus beijiangensis” and “M. nanjiangensis”. A revision is needed of several species with weakly supported diagnostic characters, such as Olivierus bolensis (Sun et al., 2010) and Scorpiops puerensis (Di et al., 2010). The applicability of the diagnostic characters proposed for Olivierus bolensis (Sun et al., 2010) and O. longichelus (Sun & Zhu, 2010) is found to be unstable, based on the examination of some new specimens from Xinjiang. Their relationship with another two recently described species (O. mikhailovi Fet et al., 2021 and O. tarabaevi Fet et al., 2021), as well as the misidentified “Mesobuthus caucasicus intermedius” in China, remains unclear until a molecular study is accomplished.